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The cathedral city of St Albans is the largest urban area in the City and District of St Albans in Hertfordshire, England. It is located approximately 20 miles (32 km) north-northwest of central London, 8 miles (13 km) south-west of Welwyn Garden City and 11 miles (18 km) south-south-east of Luton. St Albans was the first major town along the Watling Street for travellers heading north and it later became the Roman city of Verulamium. The area is situated inside the London commuter belt, which is of great importance to the city’s economy.
Since 1974, St Albans has been part of the City and District of St Albans, a newly formed borough. Letters patent from the Hertfordshire County Council dated 9 July 1974 transferred the area’s city status to the entire district. Local government services are now delivered by Hertfordshire County Council. Within the town, the Ashley, Batchwood, Clarence, Cunningham, Marshalswick South, St Peters, Sopwell and Verulam wards have no parish councils. A City Neighbourhood Committee has been responsible for small parks, playgrounds, open spaces, war memorials, allotments, and public conveniences in these wards since June 2013.
The city has two railway stations: St Albans City, located 0.5 miles (800 m) east of the city centre, and St Albans Abbey, located approximately 0.7 miles (1 km) south of the city station.
A frequent and swift rail service runs between St Albans City and central London on the Midland Main Line, which is served by Thameslink services. Suburban trains stop at all stations along the route, while express trains run non-stop to London St Pancras. In addition, trains run north to Luton, Harpenden, Luton Airport Parkway and Bedford. Abbey line trains are terminated at St Albans Abbey station.